Breakthrough hope for MS treatment as scientists discover how to ‘switch off’ autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), occur when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake. The “holy grail” of treatment is to make the immune system tolerant to the part of the body that it is attacking, while still allowing the immune system to work effectively.
Previous studies in mice have shown that tolerance can be achieved by repeatedly exposing mice with autoimmune disorders to fragments of the components that the immune system is attacking and destroying. The immune cells that were attacking the healthy tissue convert into regulatory cells that actually dampen the immune response. This process is similar to the process that has been used to treat allergies (immunotherapy).
Mail Online, 4th September 2014